Just to re-affirm what I said in lecture about how you can approach the Avison book in the course, particularily insofar as the Final Exam is concerned. Always Now is part of our study of fiction, and so will be treated as fiction. Margaret Avison shows us some aspects of writing and reading which can't be presented better any other way, especially in a Vancouver setting and a blog setting both, and so will be of unique benefit in your acquisition here of an improved reading and writing skill-set.
So, read the poetry like fiction: relax, enjoy and look for the broad sweep of ideas and for the images that Avison's writing evokes. I will be lecturing a bit on the elements of poetry, as they relate to improved appreciation & enjoyment of particular poems, but on the Final Exam, you will just be asked a question, say, about the poems as fiction. I certainly hope that I will be able to help you to see & respect the beauty & artistry of this very great member of Canada's family.
Novels and short fiction do have a strong aesthetic element and a strong focus of the meaning, history, rhythm and sound of words: it is just that in the sweep of narrative -- of plot & character, for instance -- these features, although valuable to know and apply, tend to be over-shadowed. Reading Avison allows us to see these invaluable fictional features straight and powerful, and thus understand them better.
Remember, then, to look for Avison's vision of the landscape of Canada and its climate -- at the biggest and the smallest level perceptible to our unaided senses -- and her artistic sense that behind and beneath this beauty & power that is Canada is a larger meaning and value. Avison wants, that is, to let us live our sensory lives more fully and to enlarge our spirit to a greater degree: not a transcendent, 'spooky', level, but simply a natural spirit on a more expansive & richer canvas.
The universal Canadian, I might call it. But remember, enjoy the sweep of the poems and the ideas & images that unify them -- just as you would reading a novel or short story -- as preparation for your Final Exam.